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  1. #1
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Default Mirrors in Classes ?

    Mirrors in classes, do you find them essential, useful or not ?

    I am not keen on them and that for one reason a reverse image reflection does not translate well in my mind and so I find they confuse me more than help.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I find them useful for first learning a move. I often have to correct for lifting when I shouldn't be, or twisting what I shouldn't be (thinking of last night's class) and the mirror is so helpful for seeing that lift or twist and modifying it. At the same time, at home, I go out of my way to practice without mirrors, because there aren't any mirrors when you're on stage. I practice, practice, practice, then double check in the mirror to make sure it looks right, and it usually does. I wouldn't call it essential, but definitely helpful.

  3. #3
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    I rarely used one in class. Any time spent watching myself was time not spent watching the teacher. I would only use it when she set us on a drill and walked around the room.

    It's a mixed blessing for students. On the one hand they can see how it looks and make corrections, but on the other hand they don't always learn how a move feels. Overall I think they are beneficial, but in a few cases they become a hindrance. I have seen people not know what to do if they can't see themselves!

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I find they are useful for learning new movement patterns. I have started teaching a community class without mirrors and it is very hard to correct technique. Yes, I can use my hands to reposition but with inexperienced dancers they cannot remember what to do - and I cannot spend all my time on one person. I found one using a window as a mirror the other night.

    With choreography many use mirrors to "cheat" - that is share their knowledge of the choreo around. (I know eventually they need to be weaned) It is also useful for checking positioning and "look".

    In workshops, as a student, I use the mirrors to watch the tutor at times - but I tend not to watch myself as I don't do the sort of workshops any more where that would be often useful.

  5. #5
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Mirrors are great for learning new movements, new choreographies - and checking up on same. BUT - I always want to have a couple of run-throughs WITHOUT mirrors of something I'm going to be performing.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I wouldn't teach in a studio without mirrors and I wouldn't take classes in a studio without mirrors. Where I teach the mirrors are along a single wall so the class also has the option of turning away from the mirrors when needed. Best of both worlds.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Pretty much what Shan said. I may not always get the option of teaching with mirrors, but when I do I always take the mirrors option. As a teacher it allows me to have eyes in the back of my head - I can keep an eye on what my students are doing & correct them without making them feel singled out. And since I keep my class sizes ultra-small (cap for normal class is 16, for small class is 6-10 depending on the topic/prop) that is vitally important.

    Also, as Shan said, I can always make the students turn around or drag the mirror curtain across if I feel they are becoming reliant on mirror feedback.

    Huh, it occurs to me that if you can't feel what the move is like if you have a mirror then either your teacher isn't doing his/her job or you aren't giving them the attention they deserve. None of my students have ever complained about not knowing how a move feels at the end of a class - in fact, I am complimented on how easily I get them to feel how a move is generated, in my mirrored classroom!
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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  8. #8
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    From a student POV - a lot of the time they are a hindrance to me. If I start seriously watching myself in class it puts me off and makes me forget what I'm supposed to be doing. If there's something wrong and my teacher corrects it I mostly do it by feel, not by seeing it in the mirror.

    But I like that they can give me an extra view, and they are a good reminder that I need to look up more. And if I'm refining technique it's useful reinforcement e.g. noticing if knees doing odd things, or if your feet go too far apart for a particular move.

    If I'm making up choreographies at home I use windows as mirrors to help see if something looks nice, where the arms work best etc.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    I need the mirrors, too, for all the reasons listed. There are several mentions of "not being able to learn what the move feels like". I've always thought that was the oddest thing because what if I think I'm doing something right, I get that into muscle memory, and then see it in the mirror and realize I am doing nothing of the sort? For example, last night, I thought my hands were turning correctly, but a quick look in the mirror told me that not only were they not turning right, I had the wrong hand going at the wrong time.

    I understand everyone's got different feelings about it, and none are more right or wrong than the others, I'm just adding my 2 cents in.

  10. #10
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    It's just a reflection (hahahaha) of how people learn differently.

    Also my teacher will usually point out things that need fixing before I've spotted them in the mirror. If there's no teacher, or in a class where the teacher doesn't do so much of that, then a mirror becomes an important cue for you to pick up and fix your own mistakes.

    I think people can get too fixated on watching themselves. You aren't going to be able to do that in performance, so it's not a good idea to get mentally hooked on visual feedback, IMO. Mirrors aren't portable, feel and mental imagery are.

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